Collection Summary

Creator: Bonnie, Richard J.
Title: Addendum to the Papers of Richard J. Bonnie [p]
Accession: MSS 81-9p
Parent Collection: The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie
Location: This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections before your visit to ensure your papers are available.
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 0 objects
Use Restrictions: Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.

Collection Description & Arrangement

This addendum to the Richard J. Bonnie papers consists of APA Files, committe files and some Russian documents pertaining to mental health law and protection for the disabled. The Atkins v. Virginia Files pertain to Bonnie's work on the special sub-committee of the Virginia State Crime Commission to revise the issues of the Supreme Court Case: Atkins v. Virginia and to assemnble a Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) to assist the sub committee in August of 2002.

Biographical & Historical Information

Richard Jeffrey Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, is a recognized authority in the fields of mental health, drug law and criminal law. In addition to his roles at the Law School, where he began teaching in 1969, Bonnie has worked for the federal government in various capacities, and as a private consultant.

Born in 1945 at Richmond, Va., Bonnie received his bachelor of arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1966 and his law degree from Virginia three years later. He ranked first in his law school class, served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review, and belonged to the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. Following graduation, Bonnie taught at the Law School for a year before becoming associate director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, serving from 1971 to 1973. In March 1972, the commission, under the direction of former Pennsylvania governor Raymond P. Shafer, unanimously recommended the decriminalization of consumption-related marijuana offenses. Although the report was endorsed by organizations such as the National Council of Churches and the National Education Association, it was quickly rejected by President Nixon and drew only a mixed response from state legislatures. An amendment to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, drafted partially by Bonnie and incorporating the commission's findings, was approved by the National Conference of commissioners on Uniform
State Laws in 1973.

"From 1972 through 1977," Bonnie writes in the preface to his 1980 book, Marijuana Use and Criminal Sanctions, "I was actively involved in the effort to win legislative support for reforming the marijuana laws (p. iii)." During most of these years he was also teaching at the Law School (having returned in the fall of 1973), but he found time to participate in the marijuana reform movement in several ways. Bonnie was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-1980), served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, and helped write President Ford's White Paper on Drug Abuse in 1975. He testified on marijuana policy before two U.S. Senate subcommittees and 15 state legislative committees, and in 1976-1977 helped the National Governors' Conference develop its study on state marijuana penalties and policies. In 1977 he visited several European countries for the federal government, in part to explain the Carter administration's endorsement of marijuana decriminalization.

Besides Marijuana Use, Bonnie also co-authored The Marihuana Conviction (1974) with Virginia colleague Charles H. Whitebread II, as well as numerous articles on marijuana and drug law for scholarly journals and for periodicals ranging from the Washington Post to the National Enquirer. In the 1980s, Bonnie began to move away from drug law and turn his attention more to the fields of psychiatry, mental health and criminal law. He was chairman of the State Human Rights Committee (1979-1985), which was responsible for protecting the rights of the mentally ill and retarded in Virginia's public institutions, and co-authored a casebook on criminal law (1982) with Virginia professors Peter W. Low and John C. Jeffries, Jr. Bonnie became a noted expert on the insanity defense, a heated issue following the acquittal of John Hinckley, Jr. in 1982 for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 2004
Donor Information These papers were donated to the Law Library by Richard J. Bonnie in January of 2005.

Content List

Box 1

  • 1995-2001; Atkins Background Materials.
  • 2002, Aug. – Dec.; Atkins Commercial Advisory Group.  [Virginia State Crime Commission  Subcommittee to revise Atkins v. Virginia.]
  • 2002, Oct. – May 2003; Atkins Subcommittee records.
  • 2002, Nov. – Dec.; Atkins  Subcommittee. VirginiaStateCrime Commission on Atkins.
  • 2003, Sep. – Nov.; Atkins.  APA [American Psychiatric Association] – Atkins.  Resource Document: Mental Retardation on Capital Sentencing; Implementation of Atkins v.Virginia.
  • 2002-2003; APA [American Psychiatric Association] – CJA [Committee on Judicial Action].  Barbara Grutter v. Lee Bollinger, Jeffrey Lehman, Dennis Shields, and the Board of Regents of theUniversityofMichigan.
  • 2002, Fall; APA Council 2022.  [Working Papers].  (2 folders).

Box 2

  • 2002-2003; APA Council – HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] re: Privacy.  [Email correspondence between members on Committee on Confidentiality]
  • 2003; APA – Eist Matter.  [Restricted]
  • 2002-2003; APA – Judicial Action. 
  • 1999-2001; APA Task Force on Research Ethics. 

Box 3

  • 1998-2004; APA Task Force on Research Ethics.  [Drafts of documents re “informed consent”, and “principles and practices to guide research involving human participants with mental illness].
  • 2003-2004; Miller, Yvette (LLM Thesis).  [Copy in Judges Program boxes].
  • n.d.; [Russian Documents]. Chernobyl[Speech draft (?)]; Law of RF (?) on Social Protection for Citizens Affected by ChernobylDisaster.
  • 1994; [Russian Documents].  Civil Code Draft.
  • 1994; [Russian Documents].  Criminal Code Draft.
  • 1994; [Russian Documents]. Draft of Federal Law on Social Protection for the Disabled.
  • 1995, May; [Russian Documents].  Emergency Plan to propose mental health care inRussia.
  • 1994; [Russian Documents].  Federal Programme of Actions in the Human Rights Field.  Draft.
  • n.d.; [Russian Documents].  Law of  R. F. (?) on Forensic Examination.
  • 1991-1994; [Russian Documents].  Miscellaneous copies of  documents in Russian.
  • 1994; [Russian Documents].  Vaccinoprophylaxis and Human Rights.  (Report of the Russian National Committee on Bioethics.
  • 1991; [Russian Documents]. ИЗВЕСТИ Russian Newspaper
  • 1994; [Russian Documents]. КОШЕПАЕК Russian Newspaper.  1994, Nos. 2, 3, 5;  РОССИЙСКДЯ ГДЗЄТА: title of Russian printed material.
  • 1992; Polubinskaia,Svetlana U.: “From theU. S.S. R. to the Independent States: Where the Former Soviet Psychiatry Will Go”.  Unpublished article.

Box 4

  • Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry.  International Foundation for  the Abolition and Prevention of Political Psychiatry.  1993-1996.  Reports of Meetings.


Box 5

  • 1997-1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Mental Health Legislation and the Former Soviet Union. 
  • 1997-1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry. The Role of Staff in Psychiatric Associations.
  • 1997-1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Texts and Abstracts for Subnetwork I: Components and Functions.
  • 1997-1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Texts and Abstracts for Subnetwork II: Basic Structures and Goals. (Bonnie's handwritten notes).
  • 1997-1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Who are we? And what do we think of reforms?
  • 1998; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry. Texts and Abstracts.  Fifth Meeting of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Mental Health Care in Transformation.  Building Organizations and Issues of Voluntariness.
  • 1999; Network of Reformers in Psychiatry.  Who are we? And what do we think of Reforms?  VI Meeting of Reformers in Psychiatry.

Associated People

Use Policy

Access Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Use Restrictions Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Preferred Citation

The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie, MSS 81-9p, Box Number, Special Collections, University of Virginia Law Library

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